Two clips here below from ‘Mon Oncle’ by Jacques Tati (1958), ideally to be watched in sequence. A wonderful film. It portrays a very French fear of a very modern future. Tati plays the traditional Uncle who doesn’t conform to the modernist view of the picture perfect, bourgeois lifestyle. His character struggles to adapt to the automated kitchen.
I love these clips. I love the 50’s feel of the film, the use of colour, the way grey is used to represent the prison-like effect of the modern family’s pursuit of suburban, material bliss.
Simple film-making that reminds me of Charlie Chaplin at his peak. Whilst mostly silent, ‘Mon Oncle’ does use music and sound effects, but with light touch. We have become so used to after-effects in cinema, sometimes simple physical humour carefully crafted can be so powerful.
It makes the recent film The Artist – another of our favourites – so special. And shows us that true creativity is about thinking out of context, not following the ‘norms’ of your genre or group, but finding the path less travelled, the path overlooked in the fashionable rush. A timely reminder for all of us striving to create breakthrough and original work.